At a recent Gartner summit Steve Ballmer from Microsoft made the following comments about Open Source VS closed source software programming.
“Should there be a reason to believe that code that comes from a variety of people, unknown from around the world, should be somehow of higher quality than that from people who get paid to do it professionally?”
“There’s no reason to believe it would be of higher quality. I’m not necessarily claiming it should be of worse quality, but why should code submitted randomly by some hacker in China and distributed by some open source project, why is that, by definition, better?”
I think I would like to ask Steve what makes him think that paying people to make closed source code will give him good software?
Granted, guys who go out and play football on sunday in the park are not in the same league as guys who play for the NFL. And the guy who tricks out his 1996 Honda Civic is not Michael Schumacher. But software programming is an art that requires brain power and it does not need a billion dollar company behind it to make a good product. Lord knows it helps, but it is not a requirement.
Open source does not discriminate. It does not care if you went to college for this or not. Or if you have 20 years experience or not. It does not care if you are a bad programmer that has weaseled his way up to lead developer. It does not care if you are warming your seat until your options mature. Your bad ideas and purposeless features do not get included because you have senoirity. The best code and ideas wins and your fellow developers are the ones who judge, not the brain dead Senoir VP of Buttcrack analysis who can’t even work his own email program.
I think Steve should ask his army of programmers to work for the love of the software and the community, not money, and see how many of them still think building another bloated feature into Word is a good idea.